Tracking devices use GPS signals to determine their location, but energy-efficient LoRaWAN communication to pass that location to tracking application
Internet of Things (IoT) and M2M solution provider Actility has joined forces with Abeeway to develop and commercialise a flexible geolocation solution for the IoT.
Abeeway, an existing ThingPark market seller, is a specialist in tracking devices based on LoRaWAN, offering on-demand geolocation. The partners aim to combine the precision of GPS with the low-power, long-range capability and low cost of LPWA networks enabled by Actility’s ThingPark IoT platform.
“Geolocation and object tracking could possibly be the biggest use case for the internet of things given the amount of interest we’re seeing in our location service portfolio,” said Mike Mulica, CEO, Actility. “This is truly the best of both worlds. By working with Abeeway, we’ll be able to provide a best in class geolocation technology which will combine the network-based location capability offered within our ThingPark platform with device-based GPS for high-precision on demand.”
Abeeway’s trackers use GPS signals to determine their location, but energy-efficient LoRaWAN communication to pass that location to tracking application. Compared to tracking devices using cellular networks, they offer much longer battery life.
The technology being developed by Actility and Abeeway, hailed by the partners as breakthrough, uses AGPS technology optimised for LoRaWAN allows fewer satellites to be used for a fix and reduces the GPS lock time to a few seconds, they claim.
The power required for both signal acquisition and processing is reduced: this combination results in a dramatic increase in battery life, by an order of magnitude versus existing GPS location technology.
The location service will be available through a single ThingPark X API, which, coupled with the bidirectional capability of the LoRaWAN link, will allow developers to manage geolocation according to the needs of their application.
A use example, provided by the partners, is in an asset tracking and theft prevention scenario where the application may use low-power consumption network-based location to “geofence” a vehicle, raising an alert only when it strays outside a defined area. But should the vehicle break through that geofence, then the application can request regular GPS-based location updates to enable the vehicle to be traced in real-time and recovered.
“The fast growth of public LPWAN network opens a new era of LoRa applications such as asset tracking and geolocation services," added Florian Sforza, CEO, Abeeway, pointing out the company was a precursor in developing multi-mode trackers for LoRa network to enable dynamic optimisation of the power /position accuracy trade off.
“Working closely with Actility and integrating our geolocation solution in its ThingPark platform allows a fast deployment of geolocation applications for end-users.”
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